The success of Musical Connections rests on the talent and commitment of the artists who form its roster. They are the ones who bring the program to life by making musical and human connections through their artistry. Without them, there is no program. Beyond their role as performers, they function as an important part of the team by helping to choose appropriate repertoire and by providing program staff with valuable feedback. For that reason, we recommend a rigorous artist selection and cultivation process—one that assesses artists based on pre-established criteria, then nurtures their skills by providing them with ongoing professional development. Selection criteria may vary depending on your program’s scope and budget but will always include musical ability, empathy, and commitment to service.
Think about your programming and your internal resources and decide what kinds of artists you are seeking.
This can be done by open call, invitation, word of mouth and referral, and/or by posting a notice on your website.
A written application is useful for collecting basic information not typically found on a resume, including questions relating to the artist’s schedule and his/her interest in this type of community work.
Download PDF: Solo Application
Download PDF: Ensemble Application
The audition should include performance of selections chosen by the artist, an exercise that requires the artist to perform for a fictional audience type you specify, and a brief Q&A session.
Download PDF: Panelist Evaluation Form
Keep the big picture in mind and make sure you have chosen artists who represent diverse musical genres and who show a capacity for growth, collaboration, leadership, and mentoring.
Be prepared to discuss the following with the artists you recruit: contracts, fees, production requirements, and schedule (including attendance at professional development sessions).
Lead support is provided by the Brooke Astor One-Year Fund for New York City Education.
Major funding for Musical Connections is provided by MetLife Foundation and the Heineman Foundation for Research, Education, Charitable, and Scientific Purposes.
Additional support has been provided by Ameriprise Financial.
Public support for Musical Connections is provided by the New York City Departments of Homeless Services and Probation, and by the New York City Council.
Artist Selection ResourcesSetting Criteria for ArtistsWorking with the Artists on Your RosterProfessional Development for Artists
Professional Development Resources